Archive for the 'Virtualization' Category

MSPs are Trusted Advisers, Solution Aggregators

October 9, 2017

The ever-increasing economy of scale of the Cloud is driving the business computing world towards fewer, larger vendors offering massively scale-able public-cloud platform services, while at the same time also driving a trend towards tighter specialization of on-line applications (“Apps”) that work together to provide integrated business solutions.

Computer media and internet communication concept

The role of the MSP (Managed Service Provider) is evolving towards the following areas;

  • Providing strategic advice and planning for business IT and communication requirements. Helping clients decide on what technologies, platforms and applications are best suited for their needs and which will work together in a coordinated, integrated solution set.
  • Brokering Cloud services – aggregating solutions.  Sourcing, acquiring, integrating and optimizing applications and services to build cohesive, well integrated and economic business solutions.
  • Management, optimization and support of business applications, services and platforms; regardless of where they are located – public or private Cloud.
  • More focus on business processes and the solutions required to support them.
  • Recognizing new adjacent sales and service opportunities, in order to provide more value to clients and thereby maximize potential revenue per client.  For example, many MSPs have recognized that the convergence of phones and computers means that MSPs can extend to providing VoIP, broadband and other traditional telco solutions to their clients – becoming a single point of supply and support – which is increasingly attractive to end-customers.

MSPs are well suited to the role of trusted adviser and solution aggregator, because they typically have a much closer relationship and understanding of their clients’ business processes than the larger telcos, application developers and public cloud providers.

The challenge to MSPs is to recognize and lock in these new recurring revenue services whilst maintaining their own brand & identity, gaining differentiation & competitive advantage – and also keeping their own business complexity down to a minimum.

This is where white-label, cloud billing systems such as Datagate, capable of billing numerous telco & utility services on a single MSP-branded invoice and end-user portal are ideal.  The services, no-matter where they are sourced, appear together on the invoice and portal under the same MSP branding, thereby minimizing complexity and maximizing MSP brand exposure to the end-client.

MSPs that evolve and adapt to this new service-based, knowledge-based environment will be those that lead and win.  Recognizing, locking in and monetizing new adjacent opportunities is key to this success.

Datagate’s “Ecosystem-as-a-Service” Strategy

October 13, 2016

The path to value creation in business is very much about managing and balancing your tactical everyday decisions with the strategic big picture of where you are heading.

A year ago, I took on the CEO role at Datagate, an exciting fin-tech start-up, after spending over a decade as CEO of a larger business group. In an early-stage business, this balance between tactical and strategic is even more critical, because your decisions will shape the nature of your business for (hopefully) many years to come.

Datagate as a business and a Cloud service, can (like many technology businesses) be described at both a tactical level and a strategic level;

Datagate at a Tactical Level; Datagate is a white-label, Cloud-based billing and reporting portal for service resellers. We connect to all sorts of different service usage data (mainly from Telco’s, Electricity companies and Cloud services) from which we produce invoices, reports and customer portals for resellers of those services and their customers.

datagate-diagram

Datagate at a Strategic Level; Datagate is an “Ecosystem-as-a-Service”. We are building our base of service resellers and our base of service suppliers and enabling them to work through each other to strengthen their business reach and profitability. As we add more resellers and suppliers, the strategic value of our ecosystem increases dramatically.

  • We are strategic to our service resellers because we enable them to sell a range of services from a range of suppliers and combine or bundle them on to a single offering and/or a single invoice. For example we enable Telco resellers to sell Telephony combined with Electricity.
  • We are strategic to our service suppliers because we enable them to sell through our channel of resellers, who all use the Datagate billing portal.

ecosystem-as-a-service-v2

On a day-to-day basis it’s easy to get entrenched in the important but tactical demands of your business, such signing up deals, building revenue etc, but it’s important to keep in mind where it’s all heading. Do the suppliers, deals and customers you’re signing up fit with your strategic long-term view of the business? In my case, Datagate is building a valuable ecosystem through our product and the partners we sign up – and that value will become more self-evident as the business grows.

At the start it is a visualization, but over time it becomes a reality.

Enprise acquires Datagate Innovation

April 3, 2014
Datagate acquisition


Mark Loveys and Tim Mulcock

This week Enprise announced its acquisition of Datagate Innovation Limited, which is a Cloud Software Developer that specializes in on-line reporting and billing portals for Hosted Service Providers, Telco’s and Utility Companies.

Following the acquisition, Datagate’s founder, Tim Mulcock is staying on to lead Datagate in the role of Managing Director and he also becomes a significant shareholder in the wider Enprise Group.

Prior to founding Datagate, Tim was a co-founder of EMS Cortex, a global Cloud Control Panel provider for the Cloud/hosting industry – which was acquired by Enprise and subsequently sold to Citrix Corporation in 2011. Tim also has extensive industry experience, gained from working within Telecom New Zealand and also as a co-founder of Bizo – a New Zealand hosted service provider that was later sold to Orcon.

I’m enthusiastic about the synergies between Datagate and Enprise. Datagate will leverage Enprise’s extensive international contacts within the hosting industry (from our time with EMS Cortex) and also leverage our strong background in Business Management and ERP Software. Already, Datagate and Enprise Solutions are talking in unison with common potential customers.

Enprise will also benefit from Datagate’s laser-sharp industry focus on Cloud and Hosted Service Providers – which is a strong global market vertical that Enprise can apply to its international sales channel and ERP-based partnerships.

Specialisation is so important when you’re operating in the large global markets. This will be a strong new focus for Enprise.

Enprise Invests in Cloud Solution Accountability

August 20, 2013

This week Enprise Group announced its investment in Melbourne-based Cloud Solution developer, Accountability Access Pty Ltd.

Accountability is a Cloud-based Job Management and Accounting solution designed specifically for creative and communication agencies. Its customers are typically multi-branch, multi-national businesses in the creative, communication and advertising industries who want an easy to use, pay as you go, Cloud solution to process and track the accounting and billing of their projects. The solution includes a full browser based client, an iPhone/iPad applications and is built on the latest Microsoft technology with multi-currency, multi-lingual capability.

I am excited about this investment, as it signals the start of another global sales partnership for Enprise Group with Accountability. Accountability is a superb product with huge market potential and Enprise has the experience, capability and global footprint through its channels in North America, Europe, Africa and Australasia to significantly boost the existing Accountability sales channel.

A new business unit will be set up within the Enprise Group specifically to market and support Accountability. It will be able to leverage the resources of the group, including the depth of accounting and job costing expertise of our team, plus our branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne and Pretoria.

New Era for Enprise and DSQ

September 5, 2012

On September 21st at the Annual General Meeting of ASX-listed DSQ Holdings Limited, shareholders will vote on a proposal to acquire the Enprise Group of businesses. If accepted, this will effectively enable the back-door listing of Enprise where it will transform from being a private company to becoming an Australian-listed public company. DSQ Holdings Ltd will transform from being a publicly listed “cash-box” (with no business operations) to becoming the Enprise Group.

For me, the idea of DSQ and Enprise becoming one and the same is certainly an exciting prospect. I have always wanted to build an innovative, expansive and profitable public company and I have been extensively involved in both of these two businesses over the last decade, being a founder and director of both.

In the past, Enprise & DSQ have been successful in building up international software businesses which were then acquired by major American companies. In 2011, Enprise sold its EMS-Cortex business to Citrix and DSQ sold its Datasquirt business to LiveOps.

The new Enprise will maintain a strategy aimed at sustainable growth, running the business as a cash earner rather than a cash burner. Enprise is the perfect platform for growth with its extensive global channels-to-market for business management software.

2Cloud.biz
Included in the proposed Enprise Group acquisition is a one third share in a great new start-up business called 2cloud.biz which is a specialized Cloud Hosting Service provider aimed at the SME ERP market. At present it offers automated provisioning of hosted MYOB EXO systems and is marketed through the channel of MYOB EXO resellers throughout New Zealand and Australia. This business is experiencing rapid early stage growth and is a perfect example of how the Enprise Group can leverage its existing channels-to-market to launch new opportunities.

Enprise Solutions
Enprise Solutions is a Platinum MYOB EXO reseller in both Australia and New Zealand. It has offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington. The business is experiencing considerable demand from customers in Australia and our two Australian offices which were established earlier this year are driving a significant portion of our growth. Enprise’s goal is to achieve full regional coverage of Australia and New Zealand within the next 24 months.

Enprise Software
Enprise Software is a Gold Certified Solution Partner for the globally-marketed SAP Business One ERP platform. Enprise’s solutions include the popular Enprise Job Costing and Enprise Rent packages, amongst others. Sales and distribution is via a global channel of SAP certified resellers. There is much growth potential in this business unit as new demand grows for Cloud-based and mobility solutions in addition to SAP’s exciting new in-memory HANA platform.

Citrix acquires EMS-Cortex business

February 23, 2011

This week Enprise Group is very pleased to announce that the assets of EMS-Cortex (one of the businesses of the Enprise Group) were acquired by global technology leader, Citrix Systems Inc. Citrix has approximately 5,000 staff worldwide and annual revenues exceeding US $1.8 billion.

We are absolutely delighted with the deal and I think this is a very positive development for all stakeholders in EMS-Cortex including customers, staff, management, shareholders and investors.

Citrix has hired all of the staff from EMS-Cortex and intends to continue developing the Cortex Cloud Control Panel from Auckland New Zealand. The business unit will continue to be led locally by former EMS-Cortex General Manager, Colin Williams, who will in turn report directly to Bill Burley, a Citrix Vice President based in Florida, who is the General Manager of the Citrix Cloud App Delivery Group.

The Cortex Cloud Control Panel, which is used by Hosted Service Providers around the world to provision and manage Cloud applications, is now owned by one of the world’s most innovative and respected technology leaders.

Another outcome of this deal is that it will result in Citrix having a bigger presence in New Zealand in the form of a local development arm. I’m optimistic that this will result in a further New Zealand-based jobs and opportunities being created going forward.

It is great to see our investors, who include TMT Ventures and the NZVIF realise a great return on their investment in EMS-Cortex and the Enprise Group. The millions of dollars returned to them through this EMS-Cortex deal will no doubt end up being re-invested back into the New Zealand IT industry, creating further jobs and opportunities for New Zealanders.

I look forward to seeing the EMS-Cortex team and the Cortex Cloud Control Panel go from strength to strength as part of the global Citrix business. For my part, I shall now be focusing my energies on the remaining two great businesses of the Enprise Group; Enprise New Zealand and Enprise Software.

For Citrix’s perspective, refer to the blog of Vice President and General Manager, Citrix Cloud App Delivery Group, Bill Burley.

Enprise Press Release re EMS Cortex and Citrix

NZ Herald, 9th March 2011 – US giant shows the Lovey with buy out

TELUS of Canada sees growth in hosted services double with Cortex

December 22, 2010

“Cortex typically supports new Microsoft releases within 90 days – which is twice as fast as our previous control panel vendor.”

TELUS hosted service customers are embracing the self-service capability provided by Cortex software. TELUS Customer Solutions is using the Cortex cloud control panel to support hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Blackberry Enterprise Server.

“Cortex is supporting TELUS’ strategy of differentiating itself in the market by giving customers the tools to combine new products with existing ones,” says Renaldo Scalabrino, Marketing Director TELUS Customer Solutions.

“We offer our customers the ability to add hosted Exchange to business Internet or Blackberry services, for example,” he says. “With Cortex self service,TELUS customers can add or remove users and select the services and service levels they want for each of their employees. These changes are automatically reflected in their monthly bill. Customers can try things on a smaller scale because it is so easy for them to self provision. Blackberry add-ons to email is one example: people are adding the Blackberry service to their existing email account. It’s a very good growth path.”

TELUS Case Study

Why Cloud Service Providers are so Passionate about the Cortex Cloud Control Panel…

October 12, 2010

The EMS Cortex Cloud Control Panel has a rapidly-expanding customer base that now includes some of the leading and largest Cloud Service Providers from around the world.

This has not been achieved by spending a fortune on global marketing, but rather by a concentrated focus on quality, product innovation and good-old customer service.

Here are some recent quotes from Neil van Straaten of Internet Solutions, South Africa – one of EMS Cortex’s largest, market-leading customers;

“Cortex is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else
– from an international perspective it’s the de facto interface for hosted Exchange.”

“We are winning more business now, and Cortex is our biggest differentiator. Ease of use is the thing that clients can truly see and appreciate, and when we show clients the Cortex interface, they say ‘Wow’”.

“There’s no impact on client service, no need to sit down with the client and go through changes. We tell the client about the cutover, but the only thing that changes for them is the admin URL. Everything else just keeps working.”

“We’ve really noticed that once people are receiving hosted Exchange, they tend to sign up for additional services. Before Cortex, we had no ability for clients to have one interface to provision different services – now we do.”

“Cortex has slashed deployment times by 70%. It’s our sole management interface for both administrators and users.”

“The manuals are excellent – the client doesn’t need to know any technical details at all.”

“Our resellers can provision a new client on the platform themselves, in five or six clicks. We just sit back and let resellers deploy clients as quickly as they possibly can. We want to set up everyone as a reseller and let them go wild with the market. It’s very exciting for us.”

These quotes are extracted from an EMS Cortex Case Study featuring Internet Solutions of South Africa.

For more information about the Cortex Cloud Control Panel, contact sales@ems-cortex.com

A happy Cortex-equipped Venyu in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

August 20, 2010

Here is some great customer feedback that our team at EMS Cortex received today from Eric Malatesta of Venyu, a valued Cortex Service Provider based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who has started using the Cortex Cloud Control Panel to manage their hosted services.

First, what an awesome product. Cortex Provisioning has been all I could imagine, and more!!!!!!!!! We are having a lot of success with this product, and our clients love the easy to use interface. My administrators are loving it as well, and have little need to ever log into the backend servers at all. I think of this product as the beginning to a lot of my other projects.

Thank you for the kind words Eric and congratulations to the team at EMS Cortex.

Citrix Technology is a Key Success Driver for the Cloud & Service Providers

June 18, 2010

EMS Cortex has always supported and been a strong advocate of Citrix products and technology because we believe that a truly successful Cloud strategy requires that ALL of a business’s applications reside in the Cloud – not just some of them.

Given that so many business applications are based on Microsoft Windows and given that Citrix is the technology & market leader in delivering scalable, efficient and reliable remote access & virtualization to Windows applications and desktops, it’s hardly surprising the so many of our Service Provider partners are also Citrix Service Provider partners.

We see our product Cortex as the “Single Pane of Glass” that provisions and manages all of the popular Microsoft applications (such as Exchange, Sharepoint, CRM, OCS etc) along with the nearly infinite list of applications that can be delivered using Citrix XenApp technology.

During the last couple of months, EMS Cortex has been working more closely with Citrix and in particular with Scott Swanburg, who heads the Citrix Service Provider program.

See what Scott and Citrix Engineers have to say about EMS Cortex in this Blog.